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Aug 17, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Calixa: Bettering cephalosporin

Calixa Therapeutics Inc. is developing an in-licensed cephalosporin it says is more potent against multi-drug resistant strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa than all other available beta lactams. The lead compound, CXA-101, and two follow-ons are in development for Gram-negative nosocomial infections.

Beta lactams, which include cephalosporins, carbapenems, penicillins and monobactams, are the most potent class of antibiotics against P. aeruginosaand are commonly used as first-line antibiotics for nosocomial infections.

The most frequently used first-line drug is the generic ceftazidime. But about 20-25% of P. aeruginosa strains are already resistant to ceftazidime and most other cephalosporins. The most common form of resistance comes from the beta lactamase (LACTB) family of enzymes, which cleave beta lactams and make them ineffective.

Carbapenems, the most potent beta lactams against P. aeruginosa, have 11-20% resistance rates. CSO James Ge said hospitals typically save carbapenems for more serious infections in...

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